Social class as moderator of the relationship between (dis)empowering processes and psychological empowerment

Brian D. Christens, Paul W. Speer, N. Andrew Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This study examined whether social class moderated the relationship between empowering and disempowering processes and psychological empowerment (PE) in a sample of individuals from five community organizing initiatives (N=490). Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the relationship between community participation (CP) and alienation on the intrapersonal and interactional components of PE. For the intrapersonal component of PE, CP and alienation were, respectively, positive and negatively predictive. Social class was positively related to the intrapersonal component of PE, and no interaction effects were detected. For the interactional component of PE, CP was not a significant predictor, and alienation was a significant positive predictor. Social class was a negative predictor, and interaction effects between independent variables were detected. These paradoxical relationships between social class and the components of PE are pertinent to empowerment theory and measurement. Implications for social policy, community interventions, and evaluation are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-182
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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